Robert Venturi - and the postmodernist movement he helped to form - was occasionally a divisive figure. For hardcore modernists, the referencing of prior styles was an affront to the future-facing architecture they had tried to promote. For traditionalists, the ebullient and kitschy take on classicism was an insult to the elegance of the past.
Try as we might to inure ourselves to the opinions of others, recognition is a powerful thing. It brings with it a captive (and expectant) audience, not just of admirers but of kingmakers - or, cynically, those who see an opportunity to capitalize. For architects, this can be both a blessing and a curse. Many practices start with the motivation to pursue an idea or concept; as recognition becomes diluted to labels it becomes harder to understand what was distinguishing in the first place. This week saw the announcements of a numerous significant awards - and an interview with a practice determined to shake off the labels that come with recognition. Read on for this week’s review.
Instagram has made a sizable impact on architecture, from allowing designers to showcase their work, to influencing the very design of buildings themselves. As we have shown in the past, there are hundreds of architecture feeds worth a follow for designers at any stage of their career. However, for fresh students of architecture, the vast labyrinth of suggestions, stories, and tags can be overwhelming, distracting, and almost irrelevant.
To address this, we have compiled a list of 50 Instagram feeds that, although applicable for all designers, are particularly aimed at offering inspiration, support, and references for students finding their feet in the architecture world. Give them a follow to stay up-to-date with the latest creations from fellow students, young architects, university studios, and more.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the shortlist of four finalist projects in the running for the 2018 RIBA International Prize. A biennial award open to any qualified architect in the world, the International Prize seeks to name the world’s “most inspirational and significant” building. Criteria for consideration include the demonstration of “design excellence, architectural ambition, and [delivery of] meaningful social impact.”
The inaugural prize was awarded to Grafton Architects in 2016 for their UTEC university building in Lima, Peru, described as a “modern-day Machu Picchu.”
Architecture, while a profession that is very visibly and tangibly realized, has deep wells of research, thought, and theory that are unseen on the surface of a structure. What urges architects to design the way they do? What are their motivations, their affiliations, their interests? For practitioners and students alike, books on architecture offer invaluable context to the profession, be it practical, inspirational, academic, or otherwise. So, for those of you looking to expand your bookshelf (or confirm your own tastes), we have gathered a broad list of 116 architectural books that we consider of interest to those in the field.
In compiling this list, we sought out titles from different backgrounds with the aim of revealing divergent cultural contexts. From essays to monographs, urban theory to graphic novels, each of the following either engage directly with or flirt on the edges of architecture.
The books on this list were chosen by each of our editors, and are categorized loosely by type. Within their categorization, they are organized alphabetically. Read on to see the books we consider valuable to anyone interested in architecture.
"Making Problems is More Fun; Solving Problems is Too Easy": Liz Diller and Ricardo Scofidio of Diller Scofidio + Renfro
It is so refreshing to hear the words: “We do everything differently. We think differently. We are still not a part of any system or any group.” In the following excerpt of my recent conversation with Liz Diller and Ric Scofidio at their busy New York studio we discussed conventions that so many architects accept and embrace, and how to tear them apart in order to reinvent architecture yet again. In New York the founding partners of Diller, Scofidio + Renfro have shown us exactly that with their popular High Line park, original redevelopment of the Lincoln Center, sculpture-like Columbia University Medical Center in Washington Heights, and The Shed with its movable “turtle shell” that’s taking shape in the Hudson Yards to address the evolving needs of artists because what art will look like in the future is an open question.
It is in moments of disaster - natural, military, or otherwise - that the value of our built environment as a form of cultural identity comes most noticeably and tragically to light. The fire that ripped through Brazil’s Museo Nacional on Monday night destroyed not just invaluable historic artefacts, but a building that stood as a symbol for both a country and a people. The erasure of the urban landscape is the erasure of identity, culture, and people.
This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine under the title "Taking a Second Look at This Year's Nebulous Venice Architecture Biennale."
One of the few incontrovertible truths to emerge from the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, which opened in Venice on May 26 and runs through November 25, is that sensitivity and skill in making architecture do not necessarily transfer to the work of organizing an architecture exhibition.
Architects are often bound by the will of their client, reluctantly sacrificing and compromising design choices in order to suit their needs. But what happens when architects become their own clients? When architects design for themselves, they have the potential to test their ideas freely, explore without creative restriction, and create spaces which wholly define who they are, how they design, and what they stand for. From iconic architect houses like the Gehry Residence in Santa Monica to private houses that double as a public-entry museum, here are 9 fascinating examples of how architects design when they only have themselves to answer to.
As August draws to a close and our holidays - be they from work or school - already start to feel like distant memories, perhaps it's a good moment to reflect on our faith in what we do. Sometimes design affords us the ability to oversee massive and exciting change. Sometimes projects don't work out, despite our best efforts. And sometimes, design isn't as capable of making change as we believe it to be. This week's stories touched on our faith in design in a range of ways, from the literal (such as the bright churches of Kerala) to the more abstract (how much good taste in fast food design actually equates to good tastes.) Read on for this week's review.
Some restaurants don’t need a review to get attention. You might know them for their longevity, their presence, or even just their advertisements. But most importantly, whether it’s their grand luminous logo, or the building’s prominent architecture and color palette, these franchises are more or less the same (the menu, the music, the interior design…), wherever you are, be it London, Lima, or Lahore.
Recently, however, a few of these places have begun to shift away from the “architectural stamp” that they use in all their branches, hiring design firms to rebrand their restaurants - and by extension, their image. This bespoke approach can result in outposts that are atypically site-specific, understated, and individual. For users, it may be a point of curiosity; a reason to revisit what you think you already know. For the brand, it's an attempt to cater to evolving tastes (culinary and otherwise) without having to alter the core product.
Manuel Zornoza of LATITUDE: "We Were Fascinated by this Idea - How do You Build a City from Scratch?"
Manuel N. Zornoza grew up in Alicante, Spain and, following studies in Madrid (UAX) and London (the AA), relocated to China in 2010 to avoid the economic crisis stifling architectural work in his home country. Over the last eight years, the young architect’s small but thriving studio has built more than a dozen projects, from shops, to factory space conversions, to a traditional Chinese hutong - all in China. But that’s not to say Zornoza’s left his roots behind. He now also maintains a small practice in Madrid, which handles projects in both China and Spain.
This interview was conducted on a bullet train ride from Beijing to Tianjin, where we ventured in search of the recent architecture that has brought so much media attention to this emerging metropolis.
It is rare for a father and son to share the same birthday. Even rarer is it for such a duo to work in the same profession; rarer still for them both to achieve international success in their respective careers. This, however, is the story of Eliel and Eero Saarinen, the Finnish-American architects whose combined portfolio tells of the development of modernist architectural thought in the United States. From Eliel’s Art Nouveau-inspired Finnish buildings and modernist urban planning to Eero’s International Style offices and neo-futurist structures, the father-son duo produced a matchless body of work culminating in two individual AIA Gold Medals.
Sharing your shelf is, in a way, sharing yourself. Every element - from the titles you choose to the way you organize them - says something about your personality and your interests.
Images of bookcases have become explosively popular online in recent years, tapping into trends around hygge and #architectureporn. Who wouldn't want to cozy up in a library filled with dusty books and lush plants? But these images typically present bookcases just as a decorative element, superfluous to the actual design of the space.
Like many things, when architects take on the design of bookcases they can become so much more: recessed and hidden, cantilevered, patterned, embedded...the list goes on! We've rounded up some of the finest examples of bookcases that combine practicality with ingenuity. Read on for more:
Drone photography has been one of the biggest advancements in aerial photography and cinematography. Drones began making a huge impact on filmmaking in the early 2000s, but vast advancements in aerial and camera technology have dramatically increased the use of and demand for aerial footage in nearly every industry focused on digital content.
The construction industry has begun implementing drones on construction sites as a way to get a birdseye view of a project, capture the finished building from a unique perspective and even be used in the actual construction of the building itself. But when it comes to architectural photography and cinematography, we are just beginning to scratch the surface.
Read on for ArchDaily's Guide to Drone Photography/Cinematography.
Graveyards full of names that have long been forgotten, plaques etched with portraits that you ignore on your morning jog, monuments with friezes that depict the triumphs of war—all these are examples of memorial architecture, which once held intense emotional meaning for certain individuals or groups of people, but have now gradually become tourist attractions or anachronistic sites within a changed landscape.
Since the horrors of World War II memorial architecture has changed drastically, from monuments focusing on names, heroes, and patriotism to abstract symbols of mourning and loss. How will this shift in the design of memorials change the way we experience them in the present and, more importantly, in the future? When generations pass away and the memorialized event becomes almost forgotten, how will we experience and remember?
Where do people live around the world? It seems self-evident that most residential architecture is not as focused on aesthetics as the pristine, minimalist villas that cover the pages of design magazines (and, admittedly, websites like this one). As entertaining as it is to look at those kinds of houses, they’re not representative of what houses look like more generally. Most people live in structures built in the style of their region’s vernacular—that is, the normal, traditional style that has evolved in accordance with that area’s climate or culture. While strict definitions of residential vernacular architecture often exclude buildings built by professional architects, for many people the term has come to encompass any kind of house that is considered average, typical, or characteristic of a region or city. Check out our list below to broaden your lexicon of residential architecture.